Dear Mr. Alan Ramos,
I have been asked to serve in the capacity of data analyst and coordinator for the Annual Performance Report on the RIP grant in which you were a participant. In an effort to achieve that goal, I have appended several questions to this e-mail. Your replies to those questions would be greatly appreciated and may be used as part of the final report.
If necessary, as a supplement to these questions, I would also request your permission to speak briefly with you by phone, at a mutually agreeable time and date. I promise not to take too much of your time.
Please allow me to thank you in advance for all your hard work on this project, and for your answers to the questions below. You may find it convenient to simply add your responses below the questions in your reply.
I look forward to reading your responses.
Robert G. Pergolizzi, PhD
Data Analyst and Coordinator
------------Dr. Alan Ramos, comments on questions asked by Evaluator ------------
"How is the RIP program impacting your Complex?"
The Kaimuki Complex is comprised of 11 schools (a high school, 2 middle schools, 7 elementary schools, and a community school for adults) in the city of Honolulu. The urban Honolulu setting, which our complex schools are located, is characterized as diverse ethnically, culturally, and socio-economically. Many of our elementary teachers do not have formal training in the content of science. In self-assessments conducted prior to the RIP Program many of the teachers indicated their knowledge level, competence and confidence level in teaching science in their classrooms was not very high. In the past year, since the inception of the RIP Program, our teachers who received training in the RIP Program have increased their understanding of the Hawaii s science standards and their skills level in science has increased tremendously. This is evidenced by the observations made in their classrooms and the products of their students in science projects last year and this year.
"What do you observe to be the impact of the RIP professional development on the teachers who have taken the course-work?"
The RIP Program has impacted the Kaimuki Complex in two very important ways. First, the level of RIP professional development has increased the teachers' knowledge base in science and increased their ability to use science skills and techniques learned in professional development in their classes. Second, the students who have teachers trained in the RIP process produced higher quality of student work during their investigation activities and projects. The students' writing and reports indicate more use of critical thinking, and their methods for conducting experiments are rigorous due to their understanding of data gathering and organizing; as well as their interpretations made from the data.
"Do you see any difference between teachers who are exposed to RIP and those who have not received RIP?"
I also see a "spill over" effect of the RIP Training and practices when I see teachers using their RiP science skills in Socratic Questioning in other the teaching of other content areas (social studies, math, language arts, foreign language and vocational education courses), both in the planned lessons delivered and the activities developed by the teachers for the students. The students were also developing their inquiry skills as they used questioning techniques learned in the RIP science classes. I also witnessed students writing more because their interest level in the topics were high and relevant to them.
"Does this grant support complex level initiatives, school level initiatives, classroom goals and targets? If so how?"
The complex has benefited from the RIP Program by aligning its teacher professional development training/activities with the state and complex NCLB initiative of producing more highly qualified teachers with credentials and evidence of demonstrated skills. Teachers are better prepared to implement standards-based lessons and activities after participating in RIP professional development.
"Do you feel this grant has been successful? Why or why not?"
This grant has been very successful for the reasons given above, but more importantly it has given more teachers the opportunity to work directly with scientists in biology, chemistry and physics. This partnership raised the enthusiasm of the teachers in our complex and also enabled them to have a "can do" attitude about teaching science to students because of their increased knowledge, competence and confidence.